http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrenalin/

     (Part 1 of 2)
     The first question that hit me when I said I wanted this job was how do we transform an existing school, Decker Middle School in Manor Tx, from what it is to what it will become?

     I mean the school building is there.  There are students attending the school.  Heck, a lot of the students I was teaching came from that school.  But, the school it is about to become doesn’t exist and the teachers, administrators, and I have the chance to mold the school in whatever fashion we desire.

     Luckily I am a teacher who has been trained by the New Tech Network (NTN) to use project based learning (PBL).  This is the ultimate PBL assignment.  I was given the entry event when I went to the job interview.  I know that a thriving middle school where teachers are using PBL as the means to teach their content is my final product.  It’s time to create my Knows and Need to Knows.

KNOWS:

     This list of KNOWS is long but I could add many more.  But, by writing them down, I now know that there are safety nets in place for my successful journey through this learning process.  Just like our kids, it helps to reflect on what you DO know about something before you immediately take the negative stance of “I don’t know anything about this!”
     No, I have never been an Instructional Coach.  No, I have never started a school.   But there are a lot of things about instruction that I know.  I have been a part of schools, all over the country, who are at some phase of reinventing themselves.  And, most importantly, there are dozens of people with various levels of knowledge ready to help me – and ultimately my school – be successful.  Next time we visit the Need to Knows.  It’s a looooonnnnggg list!

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